WAMM Blog

The Band KANSAS on the Road to the Valley

KANSAS lead singer talks to WAMM Radio about the upcoming tour stop in the Shenandoah Valley by the legendary band.

Nearly 50 years ago, the band KANSAS released its first album. 20 album releases later the band has sold over 30 million records. Now, KANSAS takes to the road delivering notice they are still a dominant force in rock. You can bear witness when the legends perform live at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs, VA on Saturday July 31.

The Band KANSAS
KANSAS brings its legendary sound to Orkney Springs July 31 (Emily Butler Photography)

KANSAS lead vocalist Ronnie Platt talks to Double J on WAMM Radio to preview this epic event. Ronnie discusses how he joined the band, culminating in the recent studio and live albums the band has produced. Finally, how he looks forward to seeing all the Valley has to offer. Listen to the full interview here:

KANSAS and Lead Singer Ronnie Platt Deliver the Goods on Stage and on WAMM Radio
The Band KANSAS is coming to the Shenandoah Valley.

This is a summer must-see rock concert right here in the Shenandoah Valley. You will hear music from a catalog of eight gold albums, three 6x-platinum albums (Leftoverture, Point of Know Return, Best of KANSAS) and one platinum live album (Two for the Show).

Buy your tickets now to reserve your spot for a memorable experience at the SVMF:

KANSAS Live at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival Sat July 31 at 8pm

Preview the show by checking out KANSAS in its current form on the newly released live album The Point of Know Return Live & Beyond. This is the band as they are currently configured and touring:

Before the show, you owe it to yourself to check out the two latest releases by KANSAS – The Absence of Presence from 2020 and The Prelude Implicit from 2016. Both are worthy throwback rock records with that classic KANSAS sound:

What’s your favorite memory of the band?

Blackberry Smoke’s Paul Jackson Ready for the Road

Blackberry Smoke’s rockin’ new album You Hear Georgia was recorded last year at RCA Studios in Nashville, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Produced by the legendary Dave Cobb, the new record features some new additions to the band, including Benji Shanks, Preston Holcomb and the Black Bettys, with guest appearances from Jamey Johnson and Warren Haynes. Click the album image below to check it out on Amazon:

Smoke guitarist Paul Jackson joined Double J on WAMM Radio to discuss the new record, two very different encounters with Slash from Guns N’ Roses, and the upcoming tour stop at MECU Pavilion in Baltimore on August 12. Hear the full interview here:

Blackberry Smoke Guitarist Paul Jackson Joins Double J Exclusively on WAMM Radio

Let’s make sure the Shenandoah Valley is well represented and shows how much we love the Smoke. Buy your tickets here:

August 12 at MECU Pavilion in Baltimore (Spirit of the South Tour)

We look forward to seeing you there and rocking out with Blackberry Smoke. In the meantime, to prep for the show, make sure your library is fully stocked with the classics:

The most-played Blackberry Smoke album on WAMM Radio:

A close second:

Under-rated deep cut EP:

Get tuned up for the show with this tasty live appetizer:

What’s your favorite Blackberry Smoke tune?

What is WAMM Country?

Roots music station where we dare to be different.

WAMM Radio is a one-of-a-kind radio format, broadcast and programmed out of Mount Jackson, Virginia, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia – a land also known as WAMM Country. 

WAMM Country music is a derivative of Americana music.  What is Americana music?

According to Wikipedia, Americana is “merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, gospel, and other external influences.”

As defined by the Americana Music Association, Americana is “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various mostly acoustic American roots music styles, including country, roots rock, folk, gospel and bluegrass resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band.”

We take those definitions as our base, adding our own unique spin.  WAMM Country is the place you go to unwind and listen to music that sounds the same live in concert as it does on the recorded file.   Music influenced by American roots styles, starting with the blues.  That’s why you will hear tunes from acts such as the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Les Cowboys Fringrants, Gipsy Kings and Neil Young.

Gipsy Kings (Courtesy Marie Claire/Margossian Fotor)

We stand at the crossroads of country music and rock music in the Shenandoah Valley.  No one brings these two unique genres together like WAMM Radio.  Tune in every day and listen to the similarities of both country and rock in live music.  Both are influenced by and derived from the blues.  Without Lightnin’ Hopkins, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson, there is no Stevie Ray Vaughn, no BB King, no Keb’ Mo’.  Without those influences, there is also no Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe and Hank Williams.  Without them, there is no Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn.

Born from those influences are outlaw country, bluegrass, new-grass and the alt-country movement.  Spurning acts like our format grandfathers John Hartford, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash and John Prine.  That led to Uncle Tupelo to Wilco and Son Volt.  Which spawned acts such as the Drive-by Truckers, Todd Snider and American Aquarium. And the influences continue into today’s age of new talent. 

Drive-by Truckers (Courtesy Andy Tennille)

WAMM doesn’t stop there. Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley in particular, is the inspiration for many a musician, from John Denver to Steep Canyon Rangers. The Valley is where many of our artists got their start. Music from legends such as Patsy Cline, Ralph Stanley and the Statler Brothers. That tradition continues with Steve Earle, River’s Edge, Con and Cash , Old Crow Medicine Show, Morgan Wade and Hackensaw Boys.

You hear them all only on WAMM Country.  The influencers and the influenced. The classic and the new. Most importantly, the underserved music that you don’t even know about. As our engineer Cathy is well known for saying, “you just don’t hear this stuff anywhere on radio.” A mix like nowhere else in the Shenandoah Valley, in the state of Virginia, in the USA, in the world. 

What does WAMM Country mean to you?